Day 71-72: Banff and Jasper National Parks #2

The night before Banff Hot Springs saw us staying in our first hostel of the entire trip. We’re not totally against them, but for a couple or more people, AirBnB makes way more sense money wise. Why pay $50 each, when you can pay $55 (or less!) between the two of you? Even better, why not CouchSurf and makes some friends with the host for free?! I’m not high-maintenance when it comes to accommodation as being safe and warm is enough to make me happy, but it makes sense to me to go for a private room for less money than to share for more.

In Banff however, there were no CouchSurfing or AirBnB hosts to be had, so we stayed at a hostel called ‘SameSun’. This place was pretty cool. It had a bar as soon as you entered the building that sold evening meals from $8 and local beers on tap, while the hockey played on the TV. There was also a common room for guests to cook their own food and sit in more of a chilled space. People sometimes stay here for weeks at a time looking for work, as we soon found out from our dorm-mates. Three German girls and one Irish girl were all staying there before working season began, with a couple still looking for jobs. This meant that they were happy to have lights out at 11pm and go to sleep quietly, which helped us greatly the next day. The next morning, the self serve breakfast in the bar was awesome, with waffle makers and pancakes. The last great thing that we noticed while we were there, was that they do day trips every day for solo backpackers who want to be part of a group. I would definitely recommend staying here, as it has the perfect mix of stay-up-and-party and get-up-and-go. When we booked, it was apparently 75% off, and we were charged $102 dollars for both of us for the one night. Staying in Banff is not cheap, but it’s worth it for a short while.

After a surprisingly good nights rest for all 8 of us in the room, we got up and make our way northwards on the 93 highway, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful highways in the world. There is no doubt as to how it got that reputation.

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I’m not suspicious of anything here. I was actually smiling under all those layers of scarf. Need to work on my ‘smize’.

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To say I was being selective when choosing which photos to use is an understatement. I easily could have put up hundreds, as every corner revealed a scene more beautiful than before. Forgive the over-use of scarf and matching coats here – it was cold and they were on sale.

After what was meant to be an hours drive, but was probably two with all the stopping, we arrived at ‘Upper Banff Hot Springs’, which is a beautiful heated pool, surrounded by hot springs and mountain ranges.

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It cost about $7.90 each to enter this beautiful pool and swim around in its 40 degree water for as long as we wanted. We got to sit back, relax, and catch snowflakes in our hair whilst being completely saturated in warmth. We treated ourselves to a GoPro before leaving, and used this as the perfect opportunity to take photos.

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I’ll keep these photos small as I go from liking them to cringing over them in a matter of seconds. Mermaid Liz and Dan…

Our last stop of the day before heading to Jasper was the ‘Marble Canyon’. This is one of those places that requires just a little walking, or a lot of walking, depending on how large a group you are and how you’re feeling. We opted for the little, because I am not equipped mentally to handle running into a bear, and Dan was getting sick of me screaming; we were told to make as much noise as possible to keep them away.

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This place was as glorious as the others. I’m slowly running out of adjectives to describe these National Parks, and I’m only on day 2 of four. The next stop is the lakes.

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